Quebec City, Canada - September 1, 2011
Frima Studio and Build-A-Bear-Workshop® announced today that Bearville.com™, the online virtual world extension of the Build-A-Bear Workshop brand, has surpassed 20 million avatars. Bearville™ is a premier virtual world experience for children, families and fans of the Build-A-Bear-Workshop brand. Co-developed and maintained with Frima Studio, the leading independent game developer in Canada, Bearville is a free online virtual world and entertainment destination where Guests bring their furry friends to life, interact with other users, play games, take on virtual jobs, buy virtual items and explore.
Since its launch in 2007, Bearville has entertained millions of young fans and earned a spot as one of the top children’s virtual worlds. With exciting adventures, avatar customization and mini-games, Bearville has solidified Build-A-Bear Workshop as a leader in kids interactive entertainment. With the success of Bearville, the company continues to extend its brand from retail shops into e-commerce, online virtual worlds, mobile entertainment apps, and more.
“We’re extremely proud to reach the twenty million avatar milestone with Bearville and are thankful to all of our loyal fans who visit the virtual world each day,” commented Maxine Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Bear of Build-A-Bear-Workshop. “This achievement reinforces our commitment to provide a fun, interactive experience for our guests.”
“Frima Studio has been a critical partner for us in developing the online world on Bearville.com. From concept to twenty million Guests, Frima has been with us every step of the way,” noted Dave Finnegan, Chief Information Bear, Build-A-Bear-Workshop. “Their strategic partnership, creative thinking and technical expertise have been essential to the success of Bearville.”
“This has been an exciting project for us from the start and we’re honored to have been a trusted partner of Build-A-Bear-Workshop for almost five years now,” remarked Steve Couture, CEO, Frima Studio. “ Bearville is one of our biggest projects here at Frima, an incredible family brand and a very forward thinking entertainment company.”
Bearville now offers a diverse and active virtual world with over 100 different mini-games to play. Children across the world enjoy Bearville and learn the value of teamwork and responsible behavior as they can choose from dozens of different in-game jobs to earn a Bear Bills® salary while having fun. Job options include waiter, fashion designer, teacher, banker and many more. Bearville Guests can also participate in events like Camp Happy Heart (Summer), the Kooky Spooky Fun House (Halloween), the North Pole (Holidays) and visit exciting locations like the Bearville Zoo. New games, events, items and locations are being added nearly every week. For more information about Bearville simply visit: Bearville.com
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. The company currently operates more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world website at Bearville.com. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the third year in a row in 2011. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $401.5 million in fiscal 2010. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning website at buildabear.com.
About Frima Studio
Frima is a prominent game developer based in Quebec City, Canada. Since 2003, the company has been developing countless world-class products for the Web, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system, PlayStation Portable, DS, Facebook, iPhone, iPad, TV and mobile markets. Frima's clients include world-renowned names such as Electronic Arts, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Warner Brothers and Nickelodeon. With more than 300 artists and programmers to develop our products, Frima produces high-caliber games that are as remarkably outstanding artistically as they are technically. In 2011 Frima opened Frima FX, a new VFX division which will create special effects for film, television and games. For more information, please visit www.frimastudio.com.
Jill Saunders, Build-A-Bear
314-423-8000 ext. 5293
Sam Dalsimer, TriplePoint for Frima Studio